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  • Writer's pictureGig Harbor Living Local

Gig Harbor Dragons Conquer the Waves

It’s the season for Dragons!


 

Gig Harbor Dragons

Photos by the Gig Harbor Dragon Boat Team


By Rachel Kelly


Dragon boats have really surged in popularity over the last few decades. Consequently their teams of enthusiasts can be found all over the world! Our corner of the Pacific Northwest is no different. Dragons are alive and thriving here on the downtown Gig Harbor waterfront.


Dragon boating has a fascinating ancient Chinese history. Legend goes that Qu Yuan was falsely accused of treason, and in his despair (after years of exile) over the loss of his country, he threw himself in the river. The Dragon Boat Festival and Races commemorate and honor the frantic paddling of the people to save Qu Yuan from his fate, and as such have deep roots in tradition, culture and teamwork.


It’s natural, then, that at the heart of the local Gig Harbor Dragon Boat Club is a thriving social network. They usually gather after practices (held four times weekly) for food and drinks, and hold several parties and friendly tournaments throughout the year. The Dragon boaters are “in the water, through the water and out of the water together,” says Coach Anita Jones.


This year's paddle sports competition season started in May and continues until October, during which time the team participates in five or six competitions both locally and along the coast up into British Columbia. In preparation for the season's competitions, team practices are held year-round. With all that training and exercise, it’s not necessary that interested participants be trained and in perfect shape. The team will work with members to create a cohesive unit, and in time, with practice, individual strengths are honed.


Dragon boating strengthens the body and the mind, and brings about a greater cohesion with the community — resulting in a greater version of self.


The Gig Harbor Dragon Boat Club is comprised of 100 members, and it’s possible they might have new openings come the fall. If interested in registering, email GigHarborNewPaddlers@gmail.com. A committee member will respond within a few days to answer any questions you might have and arrange an orientation. Once you’ve been contacted, you can then expect to go through orientation, discuss equipment, attend a practice, and pay member dues. Member dues are $200 annually, but if involved with another club, an associate member rate is available. There are other costs, such as cost of additional equipment, a jersey, and any travel fees. But all in all, it’s affordable, open and accessible for newcomers.

If you’re someone looking for an active social network that fuels fitness and wellness, Dragon boating may just be the thing for you! To find out more, visit GigHarborDragons.com.


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Jun 14

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